HC Deb 25 October 1994 vol 248 cc514-5W
Sir Ivan Lawrence

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department if he will make a statement about the future policing arrangements for Humberside.

Mr. Howard

My right hon. Friend the Secretary of State for the Environment announced today that the county of Humberside would be replaced by four unitary authorities, with the area around Goole, in the present district of Boothferry, transferring to North Yorkshire.

In the light of this announcement I shall need to consider whether to retain a separate Humberside police force, based on the four unitary authorities. Goole will be policed by the North Yorkshire force from the date of the local government reorganisation, in accordance with the provisions of section 39 of the Police and Magistrates' Courts Act 1994.

My preference is to retain a separate Humberside force but before reaching a final decision I shall wish to consult the forces, police authorities and local authorities which would be affected by the decision. I shall also ask Her Majesty's chief inspector of constabulary to report on the viability of a police force based on the boundaries of the four unitary authorities.

The consultation will begin immediately and I shall announce my final decision as soon as possible.